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The Effects of Nuclear Weapons


Samuel Glasstone (Editor), The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1964 edition: edited down to civil defense information. Contains a vital civil defense chapter 12, "Principles of Protection", which was omitted from the final 1977 edition. (Obsolete material and technical material which is not relevant to civil defense is excluded.)

See also: The effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (the secret U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report 92, Pacific Theatre) located at:

See also the 1957 edition of Glasstone in compressed form:

Compare to the civil defense material extracted from the June 1957 edition of "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons" at

The 1977 edition of "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons" omitted the fire prevention evidence and photographs from the 1953 Upshot-Knothole ENCORE test which was included in the 1957 and 1962/4 editions, leading to the myth of "nuclear winter" due to firestorm mythology in 1983. It also replaced the "Principles of Protection" chapter with a new chapter on the EMP, leading to claims by Jonathan Schell in his 1984 book of New Yorker magazine essays, "The Fate of the Earth" that Glasstone's book disproves the possibility of surviving nuclear weapons effects.

Schell for example omits the simple improvised fallout shielding advice from the 1964 edition of Glasstone and claims that the 1954 15-megaton Bravo bomb fallout would doom anyone within a 7,000 square mile area, ignoring the fact that you have to remain outdoors in an unobstructed desert to get the radiation doses given in the 1977 edition of Glasstone's book. In addition, Schell's best-selling book misquotes Glasstone's range for threshold (small sized) retina burns to rabbits in aircraft exposed facing the fireball in a clear radial line-of-sight from the August 1958 high altitude 3.8 megaton Teak test at 77 km burst height, claiming falsely that the rabbits were blinded hundreds of miles from the 15 megaton Bravo surface burst. In fact, nobody had eye damage on Rongelap atoll, 115 miles from Bravo, although unwarned and unprotected.

The reason why Glasstone's book has been ignored or used for such false propaganda is that it is not very readable. This compressed summary aims to make the key facts clearer. The full text of all editions of Glasstone and Dolan can be read online at HathiTrust’s digital library,

Language English
Collection opensource


Reviewer: timerover - - January 30, 2015
Subject: Severely Edited Copy
Basically, you are getting about half of the actual document, which I have in hard copy, along with a hard copy of the 1977 edition. A large amount of useful data is not there. If you really want to get the information, locate a used hard copy online. This is somewhat better than nothing, but not by much.